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  • Posted 26 August 2021


    LIFT is proud to be taking part in the Mayor of London’s action to change the cultural landscape for freelancers.


    Creative freelancers have been hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This initiative provides immediate employment for a cohort of 50 while they work with partner organisations to help remove the inequalities they face. Alongside 49 other arts organisations, including the Barbican, the Old Vic, Camden People’s Theatre and the National Youth Theatre, LIFT has made a commitment to support real actions towards policy changes and sector support for creative freelancers over the next 12 months.


    Championing the programme, Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries said:

    “London is a world centre for culture and the creative industries and our success is powered by creative freelancers who make up nearly half of the workforce. We know that culture will drive our recovery, so it’s more important than ever that we invest and support freelancers now. This programme places creatives in the driving seat as we all work to re-set how we value and support freelancers as the country reopens.”


    LIFT has been paired with freelancer Gaël Le Cornec, an Amazon born, award winning performer, writer, and director. Gaël explores themes of gender, identity, displacement and environmental issues through women’s voices. She makes theatre and films as a solo artist and with communities – often collaborating with women’s rights agencies, young adults and migrants – bringing unheard voices to audiences across the globe with her company Footprint Productions. Gaël will be working with LIFT on potential policy changes that we can suggest on behalf of London’s freelancers.


    About the match Gaël said:

    “I’ve been passionate about finding ways to improve the working conditions of creatives and advocating for underrepresented voices in the performing arts for a long time. When I applied for the CF:SLR  programme I was suffering from post-pandemic social phobia, so imagine how thrilled and terrified I was to be selected! Being part of a stimulating collective of artists again has supported me to reencounter myself and focus on potential solutions for the recovery of our sector. Then I got partnered with LIFT, an organisation I’ve been following for years. Stella has been so generous. I feel we are going to do great things together!”


    LIFT’s Executive Director, Stella Kanu, said of the programme:

    Shaping London’s recovery is an intensive intervention that is laser focused on creating change for London’s freelancers. It’s been fascinating meeting in working groups with other organisations and freelancers mapping the landscape around things like standardising pay structures, working conditions, cultural change, training, and development. Speakers like the Creative Industries Federation have helped us all think about a single action we can take as a sector to create lasting impact in the real world. The opportunity to work closely with Gaël to assess and improve how LIFT works with freelancers is the most exciting collaborative space the programme provides. We want real change for freelancers. That change can start immediately and must start at organisational level first.  


    LIFT’s participation in the Creative Freelancers: Shaping London’s Recovery programme is part of our mission to support an equitable cultural rebuild post-Covid, and to champion artist advancement at home and abroad.

    To discover more about Gaël and her work, visit her website.

    You can read more about the Creative Freelancers programme here.